Do you want to find more gratitude this holiday season? If so, there are some simple things you can do to cook up some holiday gratitude. One of the first and easiest ways to cultivate gratitude this season is to simply make a list of the things that you are grateful for. When you can see it laid out before you, it is much easier to realize how much you really have to be grateful for. For many, being grateful for the abundance of people and things in our lives may be easy, but what about the other aspect of the holidays…Family and Relatives. This is where many people find it hard to be grateful. We love our families, and this is also where we tend to hide our grudges and judgments.
“If you think you are enlightened, go and spend a week with your family.” – Ramm Daas
What are some ways that we can find gratitude in times when we are feeling more challenged, stressed, or anxious? How do we deal with a bratty cousin, an obnoxious uncle, or our aunt’s rude boyfriend?
One way to find gratitude for that bratty cousin is to turn the mirror on you by using the Law of Reflections, and asking some pertinent questions.
1) How am I like that?
2) Where in my life am I like that? (money, body, time, family, sex, god, mentally, work)
3) If you are still drawing a blank, ask what your judgment means. In this case, it is bratty. Maybe for you, bratty means selfish. Then you can ask where in those areas are you selfish.
4) When we can see that we are THAT too (that everyone else is just a reflection of us), it engenders compassion. When we act with compassion, it allows others to drop their walls and masks, which engenders more authentic communication and deeper connection.
Now it may be a little easier for us to like the person now that we can see ourselves in them, but how can I be grateful for them?
This is a little harder to do in the moment, so you may want to do this exercise before the family gathering. Every situation has an equal amount of benefits and drawbacks. When we know what it is that is being reflected by the person that triggers us, we can own it and be grateful for it. Let’s take the bratty cousin for example. If she is really reflecting our own selfishness, then we could look at selfishness and its benefits and drawbacks. When you can list at least 10 benefits and 10 drawbacks, you are on your way to gratitude. This can enable you to be grateful for her showing you reflecting that to you and grateful for her. It will also allow you to feel grateful for your own selfishness. This allows you to own that trait in yourself. I like to tell my clients:
“If you can’t be grateful for it, it still owns you.”
Here is an example of the T-Chart of benefits and drawbacks:
Once you are able to see how much it has benefitted you, you can own it and be grateful for it in your life, as well as the person that shows it to you. All they are really doing is showing you yourself anyway. When you love that part of yourself, you also love them.
In order to spread the love and gratitude this holiday season, it starts with you. Love them for who they are, and they will become whom you love.
“The truth is – your opponent is yourself, and when you embrace yourself, you love the people.” – Dr. John DeMartini
COMMENT below and SHARE how you cultivate GRATITUDE!
Less Connection w/ others
Know myself better
Create own opportunities
Clear on my own vision